Meet Olivia Wollenberg
What made you want to start Livia’s?
I was diagnosed with intolerances to wheat and dairy back in 2014 and almost immediately noticed a clear gap in the market for delicious and indulgent treats that were also plant based and gluten free. Nothing like that existed and I wanted to be the person to fill those shelves!
When you were younger what did you want to be?
A neuropsychologist. I studied neuroscience and was absolutely fascinated in all things brain! VERY very different to the route I chose to take in the end!
What is the best aspect of the creativity of what you do?
The fact that I can dream up an idea for a product and then be part of every single step involved to get that product to the shelf. Nothing could be more rewarding. From developing products in our test kitchen at our HQ, to thinking about how the packaging could look to refining the product in the factory.Which is your favourite Livia’s product?
If I absolutely had to choose I would say the Chocolate Orange Million Squares or Cookie Dough Nugglets. But I imagine that is like having to choose between your children! I love them all and there isn’t a day that goes by when I don’t eat something from our range.
What is the best piece of advice you have ever been given?
There is no such thing as failure, only learnings. When things don’t quite go to plan, learn from the experience and move on quickly. There is no substitute for agility and nimbleness.
What trend do you predict will be the biggest in the coming year?
Plant- based is going to continue to shine, with growing emphasis on sustainability and climate control.
What are 3 words to describe yourself?
Ambitious, passionate, motivated.What are 3 words to describe your brand?
Brave, authentic, innovative.
What is the secret to success?
You have to love and believe in your product and your mission more than anyone else. If you don’t believe in it with your everything, no one will. There are so many challenging times when starting a company, and if you don’t love what you do it would become too difficult to get through.
Which 3 people would make up your dream dinner party?
David Attenborogh, Julia Roberts, Obama
What are you grateful for?
Good health, my family, my friends, and that I do something everything that I truly love.
What is one thing everyone should do?
Believe in themselves and remember to love themselves. We can all be too critical and down on ourselves.
What are you reading right now?
Kismet.What is your spirit animal?
A meercat. They have great family values, they are sharp, social and have round moon faces just like mine!
What are you most unapologetic for?
Always wanting to do better. It may be a little difficult for my team as I always feel we can improve, but it drives people to grow and be better.
What is the best thing about having your own business?
There are so many good things, and I truly don’t think I could ever do anything else than run my own business. One of the best things is seeing how invested your team can become, and they become your extended family. You are all fighting for the same thing and can have so much fun along the way. I also love being my own boss. I am good at my own time management and I wouldn’t have ever responded well to someone telling me how to run things. I love the autonomy of it.
What is something you’re currently working on?
What am I not working on?!?!?!